Neo-materials in the Circular Economy: Fashion
A paradigm shift is transforming the manufacturing model of the fashion industry. Beauty, creativity, elegance and originality, the main values of fashion, have long been considered as unrelated or antithetical to sustainability and environmental protection. The border that used to separate them has been crossed. The paradigm shift occurred in the first decade of the new century involving negligible vibrations, which in the last few years, have quickly turned into a big wave pushing a large part of the industry, still chaotically and contradictorily, including leading brands that now consider commitment to sustainability as a distinctive feature of their identity. Materials are therefore back in the spotlight, being the basis for designers to express their creativity, which is still the main engine of fashion. Materials allow reviewing the importance of supply chains, from yarns to fabrics, from materials-enriching finishing to manufacturing of garments and accessories.
Neo-Materials in Circular Economy – Fashion is an updated overview of changes occurring in one of the most relevant industries of global economy. Starting from the analysis of materials, divided into three large areas (renewable, non-renewable and recycled), the book examines use of water and chemicals and eventually provides an overview of initiatives on sustainability implemented by small and big brands. Complemented by interviews with some of the most innovative players of the industry, this book is going to become a benchmark on this issue, which is undeniably crucial for fashion.
Foreword by Claudio Marenzi, Chairman at Pitti Immagine
Fashion reflects movements and changes occurring in contemporary societies in real time and has been compared to a seismograph that makes social tremors evident, even weak shakes we hardly perceive, but which can be the warning of important changes. Almost 10 years ago, in 2008, we started studying the first “shakes” indicating the onset of new sensitivity for sustainability in the international community and the following year, we dealt with it at an important conference organized at Stazione Leopolda by the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana. The debate focused on a crucial question: can fashion be sustainable or was that emerging sensitivity temporary and ephemeral, as it has happened with fashion trends and fades?
The answer the conference gave to the question, and which was later further accounted for in the book The Beautiful and the Good: a view from Italy on sustainable fashion, published by the Centro di Firenze per la Moda Italiana and sold out in a few months, was clear and can be summarized into two key points. First: sustainability has permanently become part of fashion values map as a new attribute redefining product quality and corporate vision. Second: creative, aesthetic and symbolic features remain the privileged, crucial and irrevocable ground of fashion which is first of all “beautiful, but can also be “good”. These that implies a reconsideration of the value of material and manufacturing.
Fewer than 10 years have passed, an eternity in fashion time, and much progress has been made, which has fully confirmed past insights. The main Italian and international fashion brands have proactively and seriously committed to creating beautiful, enticing and innovative collections, while reducing the environmental impact and fostering respect of the rights of workers and of local communities all over the world, especially in countries in the south of the world, where the textile and clothing industry may also be an engine of social development and progress. To make such progress, the proactive contribution has been crucial of the entire supply chain, from raw materials to manufacturing of yarns, fabrics and accessories, which are the material and essential pillar of the entire fashion system.
It has been a quick and turbulent evolution and sometimes progress came not without stretch and has occurred in a confused framework. Publications like this book, written in an accessible though informed and rigorous style, are crucial for clarity, to outline essential points, disseminate sustainable good practice and offer a possible and feasible vision of the future. I am particularly glad that the entire supply chain has been dealt with so extensively and, obviously, that the book provides evidence that Italian fashion is not only beautiful and creative, but also involves state-of-the-art sustainable materials and manufacturing processes.
Preface by Claudio Marenzi
Creativity and quality of materials. Fashion sensible matches by Marco Ricchetti
Making more sustainable fibre choices The MADE-BY environmental benchmark by Christina Raab, Hannah Fell, Chiara Ferrero (MADE-BY)
Non-renewable raw materials: synthetic fibres and metals - Aurora Magni, Marco Ricchetti
Polyamide RadiciGroup and the future of synthetic fibres – Aurora Magni
Polypropylene Maglificio Ripa experimentation – Aurora Magni
Fashionable metals The Lampo eco-friendly zip fasteners of Giovanni Lanfranchi – Aurora Magni
Elastomeric Fibers Comfort and sustainability in Eurojersey Sensitive® Fabrics – Maria Chiara Laurenti
Textile fibres from renewable sources by Aurora Magni, Marco Ricchetti
Canepa Group Kitotex® Sustainability through innovation – Marco Ricchetti
Paper sensations Food waste: an ingredient of Favini quality packaging paper for the fashion industry – Sergio Ferraris
Silk Taroni Spa fabrics: high quality and slow fashion – Marco Ricchetti
Labels and price tags Low-impact materials, high-impact information. Dienpi case history – Aurora Magni
A sustainable cotton supply chain Olcese, spinning; FelliColor dyeing and finishing, Besani kint weaving – Aurora Magni
Reusing and recycling, waste and leftover management - Marco Ricchetti
Recycling and reuse of technical textiles Products as a service, multiple lives for technical textiles and fashion designer training in Servizi Ospedalieri case history – SF
Regenerated wool 3C Filati and the tradition of the Prato industrial district – Aurora Magni
4. Water and chemicals
Water, dyestuff and other auxiliary chemicals - Aurora Magni, Marco Ricchetti
Water purification and recovery, from waste to resource Europrogetti applications – Aurora Magni
Interview with Giuseppe Ungherese, Project manager of Greenpeace Italy Toxic campaign
5. End use
Sustainability, big brands and niche brands - Marco Ricchetti
Up and Coming and Niche Brands The quest for a new business model – Marco Ricchetti, Alberto Saccavini
A new scenario for the leading fashion brands – Marco Ricchetti, Fabio Guenza
Interview with Anna Maria Rugarli Senior Director, Sustainability & Responsibility, EMEA VF International SAGL
Interview with Laura Strambi